If he could see me now!

Transgender model April Ashley, the first Brit to undergo sex change, wishes ex-husband ‘who humiliated her in front of the world’ was still alive to see her awarded MBE

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2247642/Transgender-model-April-Ashley-Brit-undergo-sex-change-wishes-ex-husband-humiliated-world-alive-awarded-MBE.html#ixzz2F2BcvjJI
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Bettina Rheims: The Gender Studies

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Rheims on how “The Gender Studies” came about:

“Over a year ago, we got a request from ‘Candy magazine’, an yearly publication on transsexuality and drag, to publish once again, and twenty years later, the ‘Modern Lovers’ and ‘Les Espionnes’. A body of work on androgyny and transgender shot during the hardest times of AIDS.

It gave me the idea instead to check, If things were different today in the world of gender, from the eighties.

But what struck me as being completely new, were the ones who refused to choose between the two options, and had decided to live using both identities. Depending on the day, the mood; why not have it all ? – In Australia, last autumn, for the first time, someone got the mention ‘X’ on his/her passport, recognizing for the very first time the existance of a ‘third sex’.”

Learn more about Bettina Rheims’ project here.

Shuji Terayama

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“Poet, playright, theatre director, filmmaker, essayist, agitator and lover of all things anarchistic, chaotic, and truthful, TERAYAMA SHUJI (1936-1983) is one of Japan’s most revered and respected artists. In the heady and extremist Japanese art scene of the late ’70s, Terayama created a number of unforgettable and highly controversial films. For example, EMPEROR TOMATO KETCHUP is his epic, sexually revolutionary and hallucinatory work from 1972 in which ‘magical women act as the initiatory, yet protectively maternal sexual partners to children. The children, in revolt, have condemned their parents to death for depriving them of self-expression and sexual freedom; they create a society in which fairies and sex education are equally important and literally combinable.’ Ñamos Vogel, Film as a Subversive Art” Description from UbuWeb

Watch his experimental films here: http://www.ubu.com/film/terayama.html

Watch the full length film Pastoral: To Die in the Country here:

Queer: A Very Unclear Word

After yesterday’s in-class discussion about queerness, transness, and other -nesses (we forgot the Loch Ness!), I thought I’d share my two favorite definitions of “queer.”

The first comes from the introduction to the Fall/Winter 2005 issue of “Social Text.” The issue, “What’s Queer About Queer Studies Now?” discussed progress, and failures, made in queer thought over the past decade. David Eng, Judith Halberstam, and José Esteban Muñoz co-authored the introduction, which includes this awesome definition of “queer” as an approach to action, rather than an identity.

Around 1990 queer emerged into public consciousness. It was a term that challenged the normalizing mechanisms of state power to name its sexual subjects: male or female, married or single, heterosexual or homosexual, natural or perverse. Given its commitment to interrogating the social processes that not only produced and recognized but also normalized and sustained identity, the political promise of the term resided specifically in its broad critique of multiple social antagonisms, including race, gender, class, nationality, and religion, in addition to sexuality.

This is probably the most deftly-worded and open-minded academic definition of “queer.”

But, if you want something a little less academic, I recommend the definition offered by Sophia Petrillo (played by Estelle Getty) in the TV sitcom Golden Girls. In the episode excerpted below, Sophia’s son, Phil, has just died. Phil was a life-long crossdresser who, by all accounts, was also 100% heterosexual.

Gay Themed YouTube Network Launched!

I’m not sure “Gwist” is a better title than “Trans-Q”

“Logo founder Matt Farber is continuing his focus of putting the spotlight on gay-themed content, shifting platforms to YouTube.

Farber, with former Logo vp creative Brian Tolleson, are launching Gwist, a YouTube channel targeted specifically to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (and like-minded) community.”

More info here from The Hollywood Reporter

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